Oskar Kokoschka is a painter very identified with his most expressionist and torn paintings such as The Wife of the Wind. However, he has a not-so-well-known facet as a landscape artist, a good example of which is this 1924 canvas en titledVenice, boats at customs. And an oil painting that is currently kept in Munich.
Venice, boats at Kokoschka Customs
However, although it is a landscape we see many of the formal constants of any of his paintings. That is, everything on the surface of the painting breaks down as if they were molecules in motion. A movement that is based on the painter's strokes based on crisscrossing and undulations.
They are lines without any drawing. There is only color. And in terms of color, it is an amalgam of gray, green and blue tones. Some colors that he himself confessed are heirs to the paintings he saw byTintorettoin Venice itselfduring a trip to the city of the channels a few years earlier. For example, like the frescoes of him that I can see in the San Roque School
As for the view of Venice that we see here, it looks like the memory of a trip, in the style of the vedute that Canaletto could have done centuries ago. In fact,Kokoschkahimself tells us in his autobiography how he made this painting from the balcony of the hotel where he was staying. A painting in which he lookspaint the same landscape from two different viewing angles to get a double panorama. Something that he would later repeat in many other works.
And if we look closely, we can see that there is a high point of view. From there we contemplate the sea, which occupies a large part of the canvas. A sea created by mixing the colors green, blue and yellow, until it becomes transparent waters on the left.
That elevated point of view can also correspond to the buildings that mark the horizon of the painting. But on the other hand, it is not the one chosen for the black brushstrokes that introduce us to gondolas and other boats.
Just like it's not the sky's point of view. A sky painted in cob alt blue and over which the sparkling brush strokes of the clouds run. There is no order in this strip of sky, not even in the direction of the brush strokes. This increases the sensation of a whirlwind with enormous force of attraction that is always present in the works of this artist from the beginning of the 20th century.